Can a .44 magnum pistol be used to hunt pheasant w/shot loads?

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No.  A handgun is not considered a shotgun even though you would be shooting shot in the cartridge.  The law reads unlawful method of take: with a trap, snare, net, crossbow, or firearms EXCEPT a shotgun using shells not exceeding three and one-half (3-1/2) inches maximum length, slingshot, hand-held or thrown missiles, EXCEPT forest grouse. Forest grouse shall not be taken with a trap, snare, net, or crossbow. 

Answered on: 
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 11:12 AM MDT